Wednesday, December 18, 2013

We Love You Nigella!

Planning got underway in earnest this week for the Gays & Strays Christmas 2013 at chateaux MacBuscke.  So the inevitable phone call from Mr. Nick (Gay husband) of "What have you got arranged for the menu my dear?" this week forced me to pull finger beyond the ham that one of the other guests is to bring.
Monkfish wrapped in Prosciutto
Relaxed casual Christmas dining is certainly not our style, so of course some more dedicated thought was needed to go into what we are doing.  Inspiration took the guise 'Viva Nigella Italia' . Mr. Nick has a new job with an Italian Premium Ice Cream & Gelato company & was supplying frozen confections & I have been so appalled at the dirty tricks Charles Saatchi has been playing on his delicious ex-wife Nigella Lawson, who I just adore, I felt the need to support our sexy sister & do Nigella this Christmas!
This has made the dessert short list
This has been made easier by the fact my lovely mother in law gave me Nigellissma last year for Christmas.  So a coffee & scan through this lovely book & I am now feel very zen about festive preparations.  Fresh lemony seafood with capers, herbs, freshness for the starters, the Ham with sides from the book, fresh Summer berries & Italian Gelato for puds & oozing stinky Gorgonzola to finish - sorted!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Light at the end of the tunnel.

The stunning sunset left after days of rain - breathtaking.
Today is 11/12/13 - a smart set of numbers.  It's just 14 days until the fat bloke in the red suit shows up and 21 days until we meet 2014.  For me I can't wait.  I'm not usually superstitious but 2013 has been a pig of a year for family MacBuscke.  It has been a year where we have seemed to lurch from loss, disaster, shock, stress, back to loss all with little recovery time in between.  So I have decided to look towards that light at the end of the tunnel and make sure I embrace and enjoy all the good things that have transpired & about to transpire.
My Bro's front yarn - just picture our tent right there...
This Summer marks the first year that I am having a significant amount of time off - 20 entire days.  I have books selected, knitting sorted and am really looking forward to getting Louis & Hugo reconnected with their cousins & extended family.  As you can see from my brothers front yard, where we will be spending some time, the surroundings just scream 'unwind woman!'

How can you just NOT fall in love with this face!
It will also be Renly's first family holiday.  After Max's passing I had a hole in my heart you could have driven a Mack truck through.  The Big dog left a big hole.  However his regal highness Lord Renly Baratheon has been working diligently into securing himself in our affections - he's succeeded.  What he lacks in Max's stature, he certainly makes up for in personality.
Just Hangin' and Fangin'
His kennel name was 'Bubbles' & that very much describes his personality.  He fits right into the testosterone charged nature of our household & the boys just adore him - Thank you Renly for always making me smile, even when you're pissed me off (like just prior to this picture being taken, he was caught out digging up my veg patch - this is him sucking up!).
Like any brothers they have highs and low - but this just sums up what they mean to each other.
Speaking of the boys', they are so amped for the holiday season.  Hugo has revised his Christmas 'sleeps' countdown to include a 'Visiting Nina' (my brothers daughter) sleeps countdown, a school holidays sleeps countdown & is fervent working on his 'play over' calender with all this friends.
Hugo dressed & ready for a school theme day
It's been a big year for Hugo - he started Port Ahuriri school & has just taken it to it like a duck to water - he LOVES it.  He's our social butterfly, I can see our house becoming the centre of all boys' social activities - he takes after his Uncles that's for sure!
Louis gets huge pleasure in showing off his work
Louis year has somewhat mirrored mine - but like me, he too is seeing some light at the end of his tunnel.  After his Autism diagnosis, and all the change & treatment associated with that, for the first time Louis is able to get some real clarity around the things he loves.  He's quite the class clown, always making his classmates laugh with his character voices & has developed a real talent for drawing and art.  I am now so much more confident for what the future holds for Louis - especially when I seen him smile.
A glimpse at what my immediate future holds....
As for Dr. Phil & I - relaxation is going to be the first priority.  We are looking forward to having family & our cherished collection of gays & Strays for Christmas Day the recharging the exhausted batteries & having some time to regroup before all the changes planned for 2014.